12 Year Old Boy Injured During a Public School Field Trip

Michael Talve, CEO

Written by
— Updated on January 7, 2022

This case involves a 12-year-old boy who sustained an injury during a public school field trip. The child’s class visited a state park, where the students were allowed to ride bicycles on a wooded trail. Protective wear was offered to some of the students, however, many began riding down the trail without helmets. Less than a ½ mile into the trail, the boy lost control of his bicycle and crashed head first into a large tree. He sustained critical injuries, including a skull fracture and brain injury. An educational leadership expert was sought to opine on the issue.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are students required to wear helmets while riding bicycles during a school-sponsored trip?
  • 2. What are the obligations of the school supervisors to ensure the safety of its students while in their custody?

Expert Witness Response E-000670

School officials are responsible for supervising all activities during a school-sponsored trip. Adequate measures must be taken to ensure that all students are chaperoned by responsible adults, who must care for these children as their own. By no means should these children have been permitted to ride bicycles without protective wear; I would also insist that school officials should have explored the trail to ensure that it was safe for their students to ride on. As a former school president and current superintendent, I know that accidents can happen – but still, school officials must do everything in their power to make sure their students are safe at all times. In this instance, it seems like the supervisors should have made sure the students wore helmets and protective gear at a bare minimum.

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